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Exchange students adjust to be a part of the Charger family

Exchange students assemble in the Greek (Trzesowski / Photo).

By Denise Trzesowski | Staff Writer

November 5, 2012

Eight young students ranging from 14 to 17 years old are living nearly 10,270 to 10,887 kilometers away from home, studying a completely different language, and living with foreign people who are slowly turning into their second family.

This year, Dos Pueblos has become even more diverse for 8 foreign exchange students wake up every morning to go to school and are eager to be a part of the Charger family.

Fifteen-years-old Valerie Travnik is happy to have the opportunity to spend five months here in Goleta, California and avoid the typical stress she encounters in Germany. “I really like the California lifestyle,” Travnik says, “…everything is much more relaxed, I like the people here and of course I love the beach!”

Currently all of the exchange students at Dos Pueblos High School are from Europe. Most of the exchange students are supported from an organization that they picked approximately one year before their adventure to the west coast.

These organizations help these students pick the right school and allow them to search for a temporary host family.

Travnik’s experience was very unique. “I had some problems with my first host family. I felt uncomfortable, also there were some things that went wrong, but the organization helped me a lot! My local coordinator is very nice and she set everything in motion and asked her friends and now I am staying with one of her friends. I am very happy that in the end things turned out good!”

Football is an important part of high schools across America and 16 years-old William Byagard from Djursholm, Sweden wanted to be involved.

Byagard is playing football at Dos Pueblos and it is a completely new experience for him because he has never played football before.

“I really like my team members! It is a good opportunity to find some new friends and stay connected with the social life.” said William.

Getting involved in sports is a very helpful way for exchange students to get more involved in Dos Pueblos and Lina Eisenhut also wanted to get involved in sports.

Fifteen years-old Lina Eisenhut from Zurich, Switzerland has a great time playing on the Dos Pueblos volleyball team but similar to other exchange students, she misses certain aspects of her life in Switzerland.

“I miss the things, I wouldn’t thought I would miss.” said Eisenhut. “I miss the busses, trains, because I used to travel a lot with them and here there aren’t really trains, tramps, like in Switzerland, so you always have to ask your host parents or other people, for a drive. In Switzerland I just can take a train or a bus whenever I want. And of course my family and friends but I’m trying to think positive and enjoy my stay.”

Another student from Italy, junior Petra Uncino Lott felt in love with the curriculum offered here at Dos Pueblos. “My favorite is Dance & Fitness. I like it because it is healthy and I don’t have to sit down and listen to a teacher, I can do some activities and it’s fun!” said Petra.

There are a lot of differences between America and the countries all around the world and every exchange student is adjusting by themselves.

Most exchange students are typically in the Greek at lunch and students are welcome to learn more about each student’s culture.

So, from all the exchange students: Danke, Grazie, Tack, Thank you Dos Pueblos for all the wonderful opportunities and experiences this country has provided us thus far.

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